2016 Chardonnay, Fort Ross – Seaview, Sonoma Coast
2016 began with another very early bloom, leading to a very early harvest in Sonoma County; our first fruit arrived August 5. During maturation, summer temperatures were warm and steady, with fewer heat spikes than 2015. Three weeks of cool weather in August and September relaxed the pace of harvest, allowing for methodical picking decisions and perfectly developed fruit. Yields were relatively average – down from 2014 and up from 2015.
We press the fruit whole cluster for delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 12 months in 12% new French oak barrels (François Frères and Taransaud Beaune), the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity and texture during the following harvest, and bottled without filtration in January, 2018.
Coming from a special vineyard site, our Sonoma Coast Chardonnay shows great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. This vineyard has a typically cool climate, low vigor soil, and a vine selection that generates small berries, small clusters and inherently low yields.